HOLDER v. GUTIERREZ

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
10-1542
Petitioner 
Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General
Respondent 
Carlos M. Gutierrez
Consolidation 
Holder v. Sawyers (No. 10-1543)
Decided By 
Advocates
(Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, for the petitioner)
(for the respondent in No. 10-1542)
(for the respondent in No. 10-1543)
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Carlos Martinez Gutierrez, a native and citizen of Mexico, applied to an immigration judge for cancellation of his removal from the United States. The government appealed and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) sustained the government's appeal. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted Gutierrez's petition for review of the BIA's decision and remanded to the BIA to allow it to reconsider his case based on the Ninth Circuit's decision in Mercado Zazueta v. Holder, 580 F.3d 1102 (9th Cir. 2009). That case held that "[f]or purposes of satisfying the five years of lawful permanent residence required under 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(1), a parent's status as a lawful permanent resident is imputed to the unemancipated minor children residing with the parent."

Question 

1. Can a parent's years of lawful permanent resident status be applied to an alien who resided with that parent as an unemancipated minor, for the purpose of satisfying 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(1)'s requirement that the alien seeking cancellation of removal have "been an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than 5 years"?

2. Can a parent's years of residence after lawful admission to the United States can be applied to an alien who resided with that parent as an unemancipated minor, for the purpose of satisfying 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(2)'s requirement that the alien seeking cancellation of removal have "resided in the United States continuously for 7 years after having been admitted in any status"?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Holder, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: 8 U. S. C. §1229b(a)

No and no. Justice Elena Kagan, writing for a unanimous Court, reversed the Ninth Circuit and remanded. The Court held that the BIA reasonably construed 8 U.S. C. 1229(a) to require each alien seeking cancellation of removal to fulfill the residency requirements on their own. An unemancipated minor cannot use his or her parent’s years of residency to fulfill the requirements. The Court did not decide if another construction of the statute is possible because the BIA’s construction was permissible.

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HOLDER v. GUTIERREZ. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 22 July 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2011/2011_10_1542>.
HOLDER v. GUTIERREZ, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2011/2011_10_1542 (last visited July 22, 2014).
"HOLDER v. GUTIERREZ," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed July 22, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2011/2011_10_1542.